Judge Denies Apple’s Request to Delay App Store Changes in Epic Case

Following a hearing earlier today, Judge Yvonne Gonzalez Rogers has denied Apple’s request to delay the implementation of a permanent injunction that will require Apple to make significant App Store changes.

app store blue banner epic 1
As part of the judgement in the Apple v. Epic lawsuit, Rogers is requiring Apple to allow developers to add in-app links to outside websites, paving the way for alternate payment options that do not require developers to use the in-app purchase system.

In the original ruling, Apple was given 90 days to implement the changes. Apple in October filed a request asking for more time, and the Cupertino company wanted to wait to implement any new ‌App Store‌ features until all appeals in the Epic v. Apple lawsuit have concluded.

That will not be possible, as the judge is not providing Apple with additional time to add the requested ‌App Store‌ functionality. Apple has until December 9 to make the ‌App Store‌ changes.

Judge Gonzalez Rogers’ said that Apple wants “an open-ended stay with no requirement that it make an effort to comply,” and that there are “multiple avenues” for Apple to comply with the injunction wile protecting users.

The Court can envision numerous avenues for Apple to comply with the injunction and yet take steps to protect users, to the extent that Apple genuinely believes that external links would create issues. The Court is not convinced, but nor is it here to micromanage. Consumers are quite used to linking from an app to a web browser. Other than, perhaps, needing time to establish Guidelines, Apple has provided no credible reason for the Court to believe that the injunction would cause the professed devastation. Links can be tested by App Review. Users can open browsers and retype links to the same effect; it is merely inconvenient, which then, only works to the advantage of Apple.

She also said that app developers should be able to choose to use the in-app purchase system or another system. “Consumer information, transparency, and consumer choice is in the interest of the public,” she wrote.

Apple told The Verge that it will appeal to the Ninth Circuit for a stay after being denied by Judge Gonzalez Rogers. “Apple believes no additional business changes should be required to take effect until all appeals in this case are resolved. We intend to ask the Ninth Circuit for a stay based on these circumstances,” the spokesperson said.

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